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First on CNN: Atheists ratchet up rhetoric, use billboards to attack Republican politicians
March 3rd, 2013
05:00 AM ET

First on CNN: Atheists ratchet up rhetoric, use billboards to attack Republican politicians

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – An atheist organization known for being provocative plans to take that reputation to the next level this week by putting up seven billboards that call out prominent politicians and religious leaders.

American Atheists plans to target three Republican politicians: former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, former House Speak Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

The seven signs will go up around Dallas and Austin, Texas.

In one billboard, a picture of Palin is featured on the left, with a quote attributed to her. "We should create law based on the God of the Bible," the quote reads. Underneath the graphic is a tag line "GO GODLESS INSTEAD."

The billboard, however, misquotes Palin. In an interview with Fox News’ Bill O'Reilly, Palin addressed the growth in American secularism by saying America's founding fathers "would create law based on the God of the Bible and the Ten Commandments," not "should."

Each of the billboards has a similar format and includes a pitch for the group’s 50th anniversary convention in Austin.

Santorum is condemned for when he told an Iowa crowd last November that, "our civil laws have to comport with a higher law: God's law," while Gingrich is criticized for a remark he made at a CNN debate on October 18, 2011, in Las Vegas. "How can I trust you with power if you don't pray," Gingrich posited.

Virginia Davis, spokeswoman for Santorum, thanked American Atheists for the publicity.

"At a time when many are trying to remove God from the public square, the senator is appreciative of someone helping him very publicly express his strong belief that we are one nation under God," Davis wrote in an e-mail to CNN.

American Atheists President David Silverman, however, sees the billboards as a way to shame the targets.

"We at American Atheists are shaming these leaders for their bigoted and backwards remarks and attitudes, and conveying a message to today's atheists that we need not take it anymore," Silverman wrote in an e-mail to CNN.

Two religious leaders, the Rev. Robert Jeffress, pastor at the First Baptist Dallas, and Benedict XVI, now the pope emeritus, also are featured on billboards.

Jeffress' billboard includes a quote the pastor said during a 2008 sermon titled, "Gay Is Not OK." "What they [homosexuals] do is filthy," reads the billboard. Under the quote is the phrase "Go Godless Instead" and a rainbow flag, a symbol of gay rights.

This will be the only ad placed in Dallas, featured in a busy stretch of Interstate 30 and only a few miles from Jeffress' large church.

The First Baptist Church of Dallas is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention. Jeffress, who has been in its pulpit since 2007, is no stranger to controversy, including comments about Judiasm and Catholicism. After introducing Texas Gov. Rick Perry at the Values Voter Summit in Washington in October 2011, Jeffress told reporters he believed Mormonism was a cult, expressing a personal position and one held by his denomination. The move was seen as a particular slight to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a lifelong Mormon.

The billboard featuring Benedict XVI, who stepped down Thursday, cites a New York Times article entitled, "Vatican Declined to Defrock U.S. Priest Who Abused Boys." "The Church Protected Priests Who Abused Children," reads the billboard.

Silverman says the group plans to spend $25,000 on the billboards, which will go up on Monday and remain up for the rest of March.

"Everyone should be allowed to profess their faith, of course, but that does not shield them from criticism," Silverman wrote. "Everyone has the responsibility to lead moral lives, and 'It's my religion' is not an excuse for bigotry or immorality."

Silverman continued: "Some Americans seem to think that bigotry in the name of religion is somehow permissible. It is not. We hope that the believers of Austin place anti-atheist bigotry in the same category as anti-Semitism or racism - a relic of the past that needs to be jettisoned for all the right reasons."

Six of the billboards will be dispersed around the Austin area, with four placed on high traffic freeways.

This is not the first time American Atheists has used billboards to get its message out.

Last March, the group targeted Muslims and Jews with billboards that called God a "myth" in both Arabic and Hebrew.

In November 2010, the same group posted a billboard around the holiday season that read, "You KNOW it's a Myth. This Season, Celebrate REASON."

Silverman, who has been criticized for this in-your-face atheism, has long defended the tactic, saying that the confrontation is meant to "grow the cause and benefit the country."

"That's why companies buy billboards - to get attention," Silverman wrote.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Catholic Church • Newt Gingrich • Politics • Pope • Rick Santorum • Sarah Palin

soundoff (3,513 Responses)
  1. lenojames

    Whenever I hear religious people try to discredit atheism, I'm always reminded of Sam Harris' challenge...

    Can anyone think of an explanation of the world and how it works, or any piece of knowledge at all, where we once had a scientific explanation, but then later rejected that explanation in favor of a religious one?

    March 3, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • turtlechurch

      Yes – I am reminded of a quote from Isaac Asimov from over 30 years ago:

      "There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

      March 3, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      We used to say "country dumb and proud of it."

      March 3, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Opposing View

      People don't have to discredit atheism, atheism discredits itself. For example, the whole idea of atheism is founded upon a believe that God does not exist. The only problem is, in the entire history of atheism, not one atheist has ever been able to offer even a single shred of evidence to back up their claim that God doesn't exist. If what they say is true, then where is the proof? They have none. They have no proof whatsoever that God does not exist. Yet, they still believe that fact. Talk about a bunch of delusional idiots...

      March 4, 2013 at 6:27 am |
  2. divine insigt

    "Everyone has the responsibility to lead moral lives, and 'It's my religion' is not an excuse for bigotry or immorality."

    love you divine. have a cigarette and take your meds.
    have you seen the hatred, the vitriol, that pours from the mouths of god-hating zealots?

    they are the most vile, bitter, sick, filthy minded reprobates and hypocrites.

    March 3, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Can you feel the Christian love oozing from that post .. brings tear to my eye.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • Dippy's sub

      It's "insight."

      Use the reply button. Nobody knows who you're responding to.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
  3. tarao316

    I never understand why Cnn continually puts stories about atheist on their religious tab. It is kind of like putting a recipe for steak tartare on a vegetarian page.
    I dont care who believes what but if a group doesnt believe in God or religion why put there story on a religious page? And why are atheist even on this page when they dont believe?
    I dont care for football and the last story i want to read is about football? Maybe it is just to fight and hate?

    March 3, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • Answer

      Why do creationists then want to put their creation stories in science books?

      March 3, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Because it's a story about how religion is infiltrating our political system and those who are striving to save us from it. But perhaps this should be in the political section.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • Liz the First

      The point isn't that atheists shouldn't be on this page, the point is they are taking on people who claim to love this country but want to change its very nature into something hardly any of us would recognize or want to live in: a fundamentalist theocracy! we are NOT a Christian nation, we are a secular government in a country with a lot of Christians. do you want to live in a country where atheists could be jailed for not believing? i sure don't! we are a nation of many faiths and that is one of the things that makes us great. it's time the Christians learnred that they do not have the right to commandeer the government and make everyone live by their beliefs. that is as wrong as the communist threat we spent blood and treasure to defeat in the cold war. people who truly love liberty as much as the 'right' claims to need to respect the liberty of freedom of, and FROM, religion!

      March 3, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • jumz

      Atheism is a belief system, just like all religions. The religion page is the perfect place for it. It got you going clearly, so it worked.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • jumz

      also, as someone religious, you should want to learn about other people's beliefs. If not, you are conitnuing to live in your tunnel-vision world...granted thats how most right-wing religious nuts live.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • tarao316

      I dont know Answer i suppose you would have to ask a creationist that question. I went to a catholic grade and high school and learned math, English and all the sciences so im not sure what religion teaches that. I do know that if any school would have taught my children something that i considered offensive or ridiculous i would have contacted the school, or moved them to another school not fought on the internet.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • tarao316

      Actually no Jumz it didnt get me going. I am asking questions very calmly. I dont understand why anyone would want to go to a blog or section of something they dont believe in. I really dont think the Kardashians should be on t.v. or the news, so i wouldnt go to a page to read about them.
      To be honest with you i feel just as bad for someone who goes looking for hate on a religious site and someone who wants to go to a gay page and harass people there because they are against gay marriage. Hate is hate no matter the face you put on. Peace out i hope you find some calm in your life and Happy St. Patricks day a little early.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
  4. tilly

    "Everyone has the responsibility to lead moral lives, and 'It's my religion' is not an excuse for bigotry or immorality."

    have you seen the hatred, the vitriol, that pours from the mouths of god-hating zealots?

    they are the most vile, bitter, sick, filthy minded reprobates and hypocrites.

    March 3, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • John

      The adjectives that you are using to describe aetheists kinda of proves their point.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Liz the First

      no, honey, you just described the idiots this group is fighting.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
  5. thegadfly

    The root of all liberty is for people to believe whatever they will. The root of all despotism is for people to be told what to believe.

    March 3, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • Correctlycenter

      On billboards, right?

      March 3, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Your are incorrectlycenter, look again at those billboards ... they are NOT telling you what to believe.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • SisterChromatid

      The root of despotism is being told that if you don't believe a certain magic story, a loving god will torture you for all eternity.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      CC, you can't be this stupid.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • lenojames

      @CorrectlyCenter

      No. In holy books.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
  6. Balthazaar

    What is the point of going after irrelevant has beens???

    March 3, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
  7. alyarby

    If atheists care so much about building a better world, they ought to stop "targeting" people and starting working on the "building" portion. I don't see a lot of proactivity of any kind coming from them - just "let's target this group, let's target that group." That doesn't look to me like it's making the world better - just giving them a platform to once again shoot off their collective mouths, the key word being "collective."

    March 3, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • Answer

      You see one group and begin the vast generalization. Congrats on being an uneducated christard.

      Could you go and find out how many A&A members there are? Would you do the math and then relate to the overall world population of atheists?

      Thank you for being a stupid christard.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • thegadfly

      I never said I "cared so much about building a better world". I do think though, that the many who try to do so only bullocks things up. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. I try to take care of my own back yard, and that seems to work quite well, thank you very much.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      non-believers don't give/do charity.
      that's a prejudice stereotype that facts don't support.
      bill gates and warren buffet, two non-believers, are the biggest charitable donors in history.
      bill gates' charity has almost wiped out polio, a world-wide killer. only 250 cases around the world last year. they believe polio will be eradicated within 6 years.

      so non-believers don't "build" anything? lol. do some research instead of mouthing off what other christians repeat like a parrot. non-believers just don't need to wear it on their sleeves like christians do. and before you give yourself too much credit, realize the bowl of soup from christians comes with a price - a sermon. non-believers help out of the goodness of their hearts - christians are recruiting.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • SisterChromatid

      Quoting people is "targeting" them in the Christian-addled belief system??

      March 3, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • threewibbes

      Jesus people have been targeting us for 2000 years.....All bullies are cowards. They can dish it out, but....

      March 3, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • SisterChromatid

      Does anyone other than you, think you've made the world better? (Your mom doesn't count.) And how exactly is the world better for you having been in it?

      March 3, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • Dustin

      I'm going to go ahead and apologize for "Answer" I stand with the idea that your religion shouldn't be protected from criticism, but calling you Christard is just plain rude and the poster should be ashamed. That's the thing though. We are not necessarily one big collective. Yes, it's easy to label all atheists as the same because we all share one difference in our lives from yours, but that does not mean that when one of us speaks, we all jump.

      David Silverman is trying to get attention brought to the way republicans speak, yes, he could be said to be attacking them for it. But not all of us take that tactic. Some of us while not "in hiding" are fairly low-key about our lack of belief. All that said, I feel these billboards are a good thing. "How can I trust you with power if you don't pray?" Because you can trust me to think of what is best for everyone, not just what's best for God's chosen people, whoever those might be.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • Answer

      You can apologize all you want on my behalf. They're christards.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
  8. SisterChromatid

    The most theistic areas of the US have the highest teen pregnancy rates, as well as the highest rates for STD's and abortion. It's theistic teens who are having the most abortions–

    Smarter teens are educated about birth control. This is why Scandinavia has so few problems with teen pregnancy and nutters who want to save babies, but don't care a bit about them after they are born.

    March 3, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      Show me the stats.

      I call BS

      March 3, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      ...my bad. I saw the word 'atheist'.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • Correctlycenter

      Are you serious? "Nutters" want to save babies? You have to be a nut in order to be against someone from killing their unborn baby? Really?

      Save the polar bears: ok
      Whales: Of course..
      Human babies: NO?

      March 3, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      58% are in their 20s;
      61% have one or more children;
      56% are unmarried and not cohabiting;
      69% are economically disadvantaged; and
      73% report a religious affiliation.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      CC, you only ever seem to see what you want to see. Did you miss the part about not caring what happens to the baby AFTER birth?

      March 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • thegadfly

      Correctlycenter: Last I checked, there was no shortage of human babies. In fact, there seems to be a bumper crop.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
  9. Correctlycenter

    Science facts: Biogenesis says that only life can create life.
    Life from non-living matter is impossible
    DNA is absolutely essential for life to exist. But DNA can only be produced by life. How when no life existed
    did DNA come into existence?
    Scientists can continue to look for the answers concerning creation, they should start looking in Genesis
    chapter 1...

    March 3, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • SisterChromatid

      What s your god made of? If he isn't made of cells he isn't alive–
      If he's made of nothing than he's indistinguishable from nothing.
      I think you better re-think your argument. There's a reason it doesn't work on the unbrainwashed.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, they won't. They are finding them by doing research.

      What is your problem with that? Are you afraid you'll find out that your deity didn't create the universe? If you're so sure of it, then what do you care if scientists continue to search for answers?

      March 3, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Billy

      Ancient urban legend to the rescue, huh. Hmmm.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Tell me again how God(s) created life from no life? How does this make your case for the existence of God(s)? From what I read in your post, it's a non answer.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • thegadfly

      Correctlycenter: Every statement you make in your comment is incorrect. Life CAN be created from non-living material. Deoxyribonucleic acid CAN be produced in a laboratory. And Genesis, when I tried to read it, was so boring, irrelevant and pointless, that I gave up on my overall goal of reading the rest of the book. Do you, in fact, have anything to add to this discussion?

      March 3, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
  10. CrossCountry

    Silverman is exactly right. ..... Religion is not an excuse for bigotry. Too many religious folk spew their bigotry and racism in the name of God. They hide behind their religion. The sad part is that local places of worship ALLOW it.

    I am glad these billboards are going up! Ruffle some feathers and p*ss them off.

    March 3, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Wanderer

      That which can be understood by mortal is No God. If people on earth understood a couple of simple things that, if God existed, nobody were God, nobody knew God, and therefore nobody could understand what God meant, then religions would have never been created in the first place. Unfortunately, there have been countless ignorant who claimed they understood the words of God i.e. their understanding about God came from their own interpretation, or in other words, their delusion.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
  11. Opposing View

    It is so sad that so many atheists will spend most of their lives fighting and arguing against the very thing that can save them, only to die and go to hell and then to spend eternity regretting the fact that they wasted all of their time arguing about it rather than just accepting it, rather than just believing, and a belief that could have saved them. But now they're in hell. And once in hell, they will then realize with painful clarity how the truth was actually apparent all along (the truth that God exists) and was always before them, only they were too blind and too stupid and too ignorant to even realize it…

    March 3, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      But Maaa .. everyone is doing it. It's easier to go along with those kids than to think for myself!!

      March 3, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      You DO realize that your Jesus condemned the religious leaders of his day and told them that they were children of the devil and white washed tomb stones full of dead mans bones. IF I DID believe in hell ,,,,,those are the creeps that would be filling it.

      You are absurd.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Opposing View", but "God" is an element of mythology, therefore you assertions regarding its ability to "save" are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truth is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      March 3, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Answer

      Oh you poor christian.. powerless against the force of reason and logic that prevents you from "saving us."

      Your all important task to turn everyone into an i-d-i-o-t fails because you can't beat logic and reason that educates a person against mythology and storytelling. Education about psychology undermines the emotional fear that you cretins try to inject into people. Oh poor you. Poor little baby can't convert because education is still around.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • anouveaudebut

      Been on the other side... Man, are those who don't believe in for a rude awakening!

      March 3, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • Answer

      Rude awakening ... LOL

      Silly – tricks are for kids.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • CrossCountry

      You have been to the other side hey?

      March 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • Softship

      Why don't you just accept that we're not the least bit worried about your hell?

      An atheist can be far more moral than somebody who wastes his time praying.
      If there really should be a god, and s/he is the fantastic character you Christians think, then he will certainly judge people by their deeds and not their prayers.

      As far as "collective" shooting off the mouth – isn't that what the Christians have been doing for 2000 years? Why can't you just tone it down an pray and worship without trying to be missionaries for your faith that more and more people are turning their backs to?

      In any case, though individual Christians have certainly made the world better, they would have probably done the same without their belief. But I can't see that Christianity has made the world any better.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • BobJ

      Opposing view is worried that atheists will all end up in hell. What will actually happen when atheists or christians die is the world will fade to black once the brain dies and perception of everything ceases. The Christian will never know that he never made it to heven and the atheist will never know he or she never made it to hell. Death is the big equalizer.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • Sandie Abel

      My parents belong to a fundamentalist church. In Catechism class, we learned that all unbelievers were going to fry in hell forever.

      We had a family friend who was a Unitarian. Because he didn't believe in a triune God, he was on the fast track to damnation. I was on my way to his house to discuss this when I had a Divine revelation.

      What kind of loving god would torture somebody forever and ever for **what he thought**? A. No kind of loving God would do anything that horrible.

      But the Christian God does this, apparently. I said "No thanks" then and there. I can't in good conscience condone behavior like that.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • Answer

      @BobJ

      Absolutely correct.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • Kajex

      I'm sorry you think that we all need to believe the exact same thing that you do in order to lead moral lives, that you need a god (one described in a book written by men yet touted as the word of god as being a genocidal dictator who demands total subservience from his followers and death to those who don't believe) in order to tell the rest of us how we should live our lives.

      Not buying it. Unlike fundamentalist christians, and those many loud voices who insist that we "need Jesus", I don't need a "holy book" in order to know the difference between right and wrong. I don't need it in order to be able to treat other people decently. I don't need to be incentivized with the promise of an eternal paradise in order to be charitable, helpful and good; and I don't need to be threatened with the promise of eternal torment in order to avoid being dishonest, violent and hateful.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
  12. Bootyfunk

    yay! atheists fighting the good fight against religious ignorance! woohoo! go free thinkers!

    March 3, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • Opposing View

      You forgot to mention there are a billion other "free thinkers" gone on before you. And they are all now in hell...

      March 3, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      They're all in hell .. HELL .. HELL! I tell you HELLLLLLLL
      Follow me or go to HHHEEEELLLLLLLLL!

      March 3, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      you forgot to mention hell is a made-up place only the brainwashed believe in...

      and i'd rather go to hell than heaven, if i was choosing fairy worlds. ghandi and john lennon are in hell, along with almost every interesting person that's ever died. lol.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Get Real

      OV,
      " And they are all now in hell..."

      Really? And your verified evidence for this is... ?

      March 3, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • pockets

      To find the "real god" you must watch the "Life of Brian......he is the one, the only, Trueeeee god.....nudge nudge, wink, wink,

      March 3, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • pockets

      "Hell" is living next door to sarah palin.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Nate Higgers

      Or blacks.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • Spencer

      Hell is about 15 miles North-West of Ann Arbor, Michigan. There are not very many people there.

      March 3, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
  13. Starchylde

    I think the world would be a better place if people just learned to live and let live. I'm a Christian and I have friends who are Christian and atheists, and we get on fine. I don't attempt to force my beliefs on them, and they do the same. I know that may seem a simple answer, or maybe naive, but then again, a lot of things are more simple than they appear aren't they? I think that in the end, we can only guide the younf opf this country away from extremist/self-righteous thought on both sides, then we can finally have peace

    March 3, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      atheists don't have a doctrine they try to make into law. generally, atheists don't care what others think and promote - unless it affects us. christians politicians constantly try to mold law into that of biblical law, and that's why atheists get up in arms. we don't care if someone is in a cult - as long as they don't make me live by their cult rules. bush sr., our ex-president, said atheists should not be considered american citizens. it's comments like that, comments that tell us we are not even a consideration in a chrsitian law maker's opinion. that's what billboards like this are fighting against - making this country into a theocracy.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Sandie Abel

      Amen!

      March 3, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • SisterChromatid

      So you are a Christian who is fine with the signs?– Free speech for all and no-one forcing anyone into belief.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
  14. Shadow

    12ax7,
    Your putting your own desires or what you might call "your dark side" on Atheists with the "H O M O" thing. I'm guessing that you think you'd be gay if you stopped being religious. I'm straight, married and DO support the LGBT community as love in any way is fine by me. If I had desires for guys, then I would be gay and proud, instead I am straight, proud and supportive of 2 people falling in love(or lust) the same as I am with "straight" people.
    As for the billboards, they're anti-bigotry from words taken IN context from various bigots and an accessory to criminal actions in the case of many of the priests who molested little boys.
    Atheism is not a religion.
    Atheists don't believe in any "God".
    Most important of all...Atheists wouldn't give any hassle to religious people if the religious types would stop trying "to save us" and would keep away from politics and our school systems.
    One person on here proposed that Atheists have no answer when asked the question of where the World, Universes and people came from? In their religious opinion they KNOW that the chicken came before the egg because a book that has been around on this Earth for mere seconds of the whole of this planet's days tells them so. The answer to your question can be found on how cells and chemicals join together. If you spent half the time reading other books that have true knowledge in them, rather than reading small passages at a time of 1 book, you might know that. If you took the time to do the research on your religious books, you would also know that it's plagiarized off of other, older religions combined with the principles for religious rule written down by Plato 400 years prior to the "New God" and the New Testament. The Old Testament was just plagiarism and old fairy tales combined.
    When you think you can put Atheists into a nice, fixed, little box, I'll explain some simple things to you that change some of that:
    1) I was born a Roman Catholic and legally died as one when I was a teen.
    2) I later became a Christian and legally died when I was in my young 20's.
    3) I was an Atheist the 3rd time I legally died.
    Of all those times that I legally died...sorry pal, there wasn't a bright light, a fire, none of that.
    4) For the record, I came back to life 2 times more than your Messiah.
    5) Throughout those times, I was researching religion, the history thereof, science, etc., thus the changes in beliefs.
    6) And I'll leave it at #6 just to disturb the fearful ones that always have to relate the number to "Satan"....A) The real number adds up to "616", NOT "666". B) There won't be any conversion back to a religion, as I didn't give up religion, until I knew it was false. At that time, it seemed still risky, now....Nah....that was just the religious brain-washing that made me think that way since being indoctrinated into it when I was born.
    The biggest religious fear advertisement is "But what if you are wrong?"
    What if I were(Though I'm not.)? Do you really think that I'd want to hang out for all eternity with the same people, amped up in their religion in a "Heaven", that I really don't care for right now? That would be the ultimate of Hell, itself.

    March 3, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • SisterChromatid

      Great post! I can't even imagine an afterlife. How do theists imagine that they will think, feel, see, hear, or experience anything without a brain (or an sensory organs at all.) I think I'd like to believe in reincarnation, but I know that if there were any real evidence for afterlives, scientists would be all over that evidence. Religion never made sense to me. Even with the threat of hell I couldn't get it to make sense. So I tried not to think of it lest some invisible man punish me for not having the right fervency in the right faith to win his nebulous pass/fail test.

      I am glad we are moving towards a time where nonbelievers and people of minority religions are feeling as free to speak their opinions as freely as the privileged "Christian" masses. I imagine a time in the future when a child will shake her head to think that people really believed in 3-in-1 zombie gods and the like the way I shake my head in trying to understand how anyone really could have bought into Greek myths.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
  15. Homer10

    Wow. The Atheists are finally forming a religion of their own!. Now remember Atheists, it's separation of church and state. BTW, which day of the wek is your sabith day? The Muslims have Friday, The Jews have Saturday, The Christians have Sunday all tied up. Maybe Monday? Just sayin. I think the Hindus have been looking at Wednesday, and Thursday. They don't seem to have an official day as long as it is once a week.

    March 3, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Billy

      No, Homer. Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • Billy

      Plus, Homer – you might have missed that atheists don't have a need to have a group hug with someone invisible.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Ed F.

      Wrong again, atheism is not a religion, to have religion you need a god.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • horseradish

      It is ridiculous how people keep saying atheists have a religion. Might I inform you, religious or not, we are all born as atheists? We don't believe in god when we come out of the womb, and we don't believe in god when we learn our first words or take our first steps. I myself was born to religious parents that stood over me with a switch as they forced me to learn a prayers that I had no desire to learn. I didn't have much choice in the matter, it was either learn or feel pain.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • pockets

      Atheists do not have a religion, they have common sense and intelligence on their side of the equation.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • Softship

      Atheists are without a religion.
      That doesn't mean we are without morals, it just means we know that life is an interruption of existence in non-existence.
      No pre-life, no after-life, no heavan, no hell.
      We are born, we live, we die.
      End.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • SisterChromatid

      Let's see– I'm guessing by the spelling errors and lack of logic that you are a home-schooled Christian– am I right?

      Atheists don't believe in divine thingies– religionists imagine they've accessed such (unlike all those silly others with conflicting faiths.)

      March 3, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
  16. Curzen

    bunch of insecure theists getting their panties bunched up in here

    March 3, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
  17. MichaelT

    This is great! I'd love to be on one of these billboards standing up for God.

    March 3, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Lilith

      Go ahead, put yourself on a pro God billboard, no one is stopping you.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Billy

      Every time they try to make Jesus face carved into a pumpkin, it always comes out looking like Charles Manson.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • Ed F.

      God doesn't exist.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • SisterChromatid

      Real omnipotent deities are capable of fighting their own battles.

      They could "poof" their own sign into existence.

      Or provide evidence that distinguishes them from mythological gods.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
  18. Atheisticallyyours

    I so wish I could fund one (or MORE!) of these!

    March 3, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
  19. waterman

    A more prominent and open voice of atheists is a sign of progress. A sign of awakening. More people getting out of the clutches of religion and regressive thinking. 500 years ago, you had to be a genius philosopher (like Spinoza) to be an atheist. Today ~5% of people are atheists, and even more a agnostic. There is yet hope for humanity.

    March 3, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      <5% ADMIT to being Atheist ... the actually number of Atheists is substantially higher, even among believers. They are just afraid and consider wanting to believe the same as actually believing .. most christians do not actually believe and most agnostics are still hanging on to the fence, but don't believe. You don't have to claim to be an Atheist to be one, you just simply don't believe it.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • thegadfly

      Let's not pat ourselves on the back just yet. Religion is a virus, and is not so easily exterminated. I don't see the disease going away any time in the immediate future. Just as the "settled law" of Roe v Wade is still being disputed, religion will be with us for a long, long time.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Opposing View

      Waterman... I absolutely guarantee you that in less than 100 years from today, you won't feel that way. How? Why? Because by then you'll be dead and in hell and your eyes will be opened and you'll be fully aware of all that nonsense you just said and how stupid it is...

      March 4, 2013 at 6:12 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Opposing View: I absolutely guarantee that you have no evidence to support your claims!

      March 4, 2013 at 6:28 am |
  20. arkmark

    sounds to me like these atheists have turned being anti- theist into a religion unto itself. Religion after a certain age becomes a choice to continue or not , to dicover or not on ones own but they would try to conver all to their non religion

    March 3, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      atheist and anti-theist DO NOT mean the same thing at all.....

      March 3, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • horseradish

      Religion for brainwashed individuals is very hard to let go of. You say they have a choice but only after they have been brainwashed. A brainwashed person simply doesn't snap their fingers and suddenly declare themselves atheists. If they are like me, it will take time to dismantle the lies forced on them since birth.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Ed F.

      Same clown argument, atheism is not a religion, it's the opposite of religion.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • thegadfly

      Belief in an absence is not an absence of belief. You're thinking of agnosticism.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.